PRETORIA – The 2017 Africa-ASEAN Business Expo (AABE) will take place in Johannesburg City, South Africa, from November 6-8.
Ambassadors and chief trade representatives of ASEAN, Mauritius, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, and Cameroon in Pretoria met with Edward Liu, Managing Director of Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS), on Wednesday, to discuss the event.
The event will include an exhibition, a business forum for the African-Asian region, and business match-making meetings, focusing on education, environment, services, finance and business, food, retail, healthcare, housing construction, infrastructure building, information technology, transport, water treatment, and tourism.
The expo, which will be held by Singapore Manufacturing Federation and CEMS, is expected to draw 3,000-4000 visitors and entrepreneurs.
ASEAN’s trade-investment promotion organisations, including the Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency and the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, are partners of the AABE organising board.
Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vũ Văn Dũng, who is also Chairman of the ASEAN Committee in Pretoria, said trade and investment between southern Africa and ASEAN had enormous potential.
The upcoming expo will create an excellent opportunity for businesses to embrace links and promote trade and investment, he added.
It will also help popularise ASEAN and its members, including Việt Nam, to South Africa and the southern part of Africa, on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN, he said.
Trade between ASEAN and Africa recorded an annual increase of 15 per cent from 1989 to 2014.
Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore are the biggest trade partners of Africa, while South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt are the largest importers of the bloc.
Currently, 300 companies from ASEAN are operating in Africa, mainly in agriculture, machine manufacturing, oil drilling, and urban development.
South Africa is the main market of Việt Nam in the south of Africa. Two-way trade reached about US$1.1 billion in 2015 and is expected to increase.
Việt Nam ran a trade surplus of nearly $1 billion in South Africa, mainly exporting mobile phones, footwear, computers, electronic products and garments, while importing iron, steel, chemicals, cotton, fibre and fertiliser.